Manchester United dug themselves into a hole after a double of own goals in the first leg od their Europa league quarterfinal fixture against Sevilla.
Now going to Sevilla on level terms, with a depleted squad, the Red Devils need all the help they can get to make things right and avoid an upset against what it quickly becoming their bogey team.
However, there was some respite for Erik Ten Hag. Marcus Rashford, scorer of 27 goals in all competitions this season, was pictured in training a day before the game.
When Erik Ten Hag was asked about the status of players returning to training, he gave a curt response. However, there was hope to be had from his answer.
Is Rashford back from injury?
If Erik Ten Hag’s response is anything to go by, all signs point to him being involved against Sevilla in some capacity.
This is what the manager said-
‘[Rashford] had one training session with the team but he had some individual sessions before.’
“[Injured players] are available because that’s why they’re in the airplane but I’ll take my decisions tomorrow, we will make the decision.”
This means that Erik Ten Hag is confident that Rashford will play a part in that game. With the likes of Tyrell Malacia and Luke Shaw also returning to training, Erik Ten Hag will be relieved to add reinforcements to his increasingly threadbare squad.
Manchester United’s creaking squad
When Marcel Sabitzer pulled up in warmup before the game against Nottingham Forest, Erik Ten Hag added him to a lengthy list of absentees.
United have now just two fit central defenders. Dalot is expected to play in his less favoured LB spot if neither Shaw or Malacia are deemed fit enough to start.
On the attacking side, this game will be a rare occasion when United will be without Bruno Fernandes. He picked up a yellow card in the first leg that rules him out of the second leg.
Therefore, in the absence of their creator-in-chief, United need their scorer-in-chief (Marcus Rashford) more than ever.
Although it is unlikely that Erik Ten Hag throws him straight into the deep end as soon as he returns from his injury, it is almost certain that we will see Rashford take the field at some point today.
Manchester United still have a shot at two more trophies this season and Erik Ten Hag has repeatedly stressed the need to go the extra mile and show desire. For Rashford, Shaw and the like, this game could a true test of those characteristics.